The 15 Best Idaho Ski Runs

Martin Kuprianowicz | | Featured ArticleFeatured Article
Sun Valley Ski instructor Logan Frederickson lays an edge on ‘Ridge’—a blue diamond trail at Sun Valley. | Photo courtesy SnowBrains

Brought to you by Visit Idaho and Ski Idaho

I hadn’t thought much of skiing in Idaho. Then I went there. Then I learned how underrated it is.

Ten days, five ski areas, and 1,600 miles later, I got an idea of what skiing in Idaho was like. It was super. This is my list of the best runs I skied in Idaho. Some are hidden. Some are long. Some are unique. And some are stomach-wrenchingly steep. It’s my belief that some of these runs have serious potential to be considered as the best trails in the ‘Gem State.’

*Note: This is an opinion piece detailing my favorite runs from each of these ski areas.*

A map of Idaho’s ski areas.


Schweitzer Mountain Resort skis like a bigger version of Grand Targhee on the Idaho/Wyoming border, except with prettier, mountain-lake scenery and thicker, wetter snow. Snowy, old-growth forest trees and frozen snow-ghosts dot this mountainous, rainforest landscape.

Top Runs

  1. Pucci’s Chute 
  2. R1-R3 Chutes 
  3. Australia
Schweitzer marketing director Dig Chrismer tele-skis down ‘Australia.’ | Photo courtesy SnowBrains

Silver Mountain 

Silver Mountain was originally called ‘Jackass Ski Bowl’, which was started in the 1960s as just something for the miners to do in their spare time. It had one chair at the time (Chair 4). It eventually grew into what is now one of Idaho’s best ski areas. The vibe here is quiet but powerful—Silver Mountain has the feel of a 60s-era mom-and-pop joint but with big terrain, phenomenal tree skiing, steeps, and the utter opposite of crowds.

Top Runs

  1. North Face Glades
  2. Moon Boots (Locals call it this—it’s the run between ‘Moonshine’ and ‘Bootlegger’)
  3. Wardner Peak boot pack
Silver Mountain Marketing Lead Gus Colburn finding good snow in ‘Moon Boots.’ | Photo courtesy SnowBrains

Lookout Pass 

Lookout Pass Ski Area is positioned perfectly on a mountain pass in the Coeur d’Alene Mountains of the Bitterroot Range near Mullan, allowing for orographic lift, which brings snowfall totals like those in similar geographic positions such as Alta Ski Area in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah. The place spins three chairs that access absolutely epic tree skiing and pillow lines.

Top Runs

  1. Purgatory aka Chair 3 liftline
  2. Hercules
  3. Big Dipper
Skier John Rudi sends a small air in the trees near ‘Hercules.’ | Photo courtesy SnowBrains

Lost Trail

Located in what feels like absolute nowhere, Lost Trail has huge terrain with only five eclectic lifts that give access to over 1,800 acres of skiable terrain. Powder, pillows, cliffs, couloirs, tree skiing, and views are what this place is all about—and no people. Lost Trail has a lonely and laid-back feel to it.

Top Runs

  1. Hollywood Bowl
  2. Popcorn Rocks
  3. Lewis & Clark
The author pins a couloir in ‘Hollywood Bowl.’ | Photo courtesy SnowBrains

Sun Valley

Sunshine, long consistent-pitch trails, and world-class lodging and food are what Sun Valley is all about. The resort just added in a brand-spanking-new lift this season and 380 acres of additional terrain, which definitely made this list.

Top Runs

  1. Sunrise Bowl
  2. Cold Spring Chutes
  3. Ridge
The author skis down ‘Ridge’—a pristine, Sun Valley groomer run. | Photo courtesy SnowBrains

The truth is, these trails are only a few of plenty that Idaho has to offer. There’s a lifetime of skiing out here, with some 20 ski areas, small and large, and 114 named mountain ranges. Each resort wields different types of terrain, snowpacks, and atmospheres that can be fun for anyone. But there’s one thing that remains constant wherever you go in Idaho—and that’s great skiing.

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